Knowing Noah

by c m

Chapter 9

When Monday evening comes, I can't wait for my father to get back from work to find out if he's managed to do anything about the skiing. I buttonhole him almost the moment he steps through the door.

'Hang on Ollie. It's been a long day and I need a drink.'

I follow him through into the kitchen where he greets my mother with a kiss. I am almost hopping from foot to foot with impatience. He gets himself a glass of wine from the bottle in the fridge and sits down.

'Right, well, it's not straightforward, I'm afraid. We can't get him on a flight to the local airport until two days after our skiing trip starts, which means he'll only have four days with us - but I don't mind paying for a car to collect him and bring him to the resort… and his air fare of course. The hotel is full – but he can share your room, Ollie, if that's OK. I imagine that's what you would want anyway. Obviously he can travel back in the car with us. The only alternative is for him to travel out with us and spend Christmas with us at your aunt's - and I have no idea whether that's even possible – or, indeed, if he – or his family – would be happy for him to do that.'

'Thanks, Dad. That's great…really great. What do you think about Christmas, Mum?'

'I can ask Sarah if it's a possibility – and you better let Noah have the news as well. He may already have Christmas arrangements.'

'OK to call him now?'

'Go on.'

I go up to my room and call Noah's number. It rings only once before he picks up.

'Hey gorgeous! What can I do for you?'

I put him in the picture with regard to the options.

'Is there any chance you could come for Christmas too – if my aunt says it's OK?'

'I don't know, Ollie. Christmas is a very traditional family affair for us…but I'll ask.'

I remember how concerned Noah was not to interfere with our family arrangements. The least I can do is offer him the same.

'Your family must come first, Noah. If it's any sort of an problem then you must stay with them.'

'Thanks, Ollie, but let me discuss it with them. But it's also occurred to me that, lovely though it would be to come skiing with you, I can't really afford the air fares. Maybe we…'

I cut him off.

'That's not a problem, Noah. Dad has said he'll buy the ticket and you can come back in the car with us.'

It goes quiet.

'That's very kind of him, Ollie…but I don't want to take advantage. I'd rather pay my own way.'

'Noah…if you were just a friend - if you were Paul, say - Dad would insist on paying. And you're more - much more – than a friend.'

'I know, Ollie…and that's why I'm uncomfortable.'

'I really, really want you to come with me, Noah. Please don't let this get in the way.'

'Let me think about it, Ollie. I'd love to be with you too, but I have to live by my own rules.'


The disappointment in my voice is obvious. Noah can tell.

'Hey, Ollie…look, I'll tell you what…I can use the money I was going to spend on us going away at New Year.'

'Why don't we discuss this again when we both know whether Christmas is possible? If so, the issue won't arise.'

'OK, Ollie. Let's do that.'

'Love you, Noah.'

'Love you too, Ollie.'

The call disconnects and I go back down to the kitchen. A call which I had thought would leave me feeling happy has left me feeling down. I explain the situation to my parents.

'Well, Ollie, I respect him for wanting to pay his own way, actually – and so should you. Let's see what Aunt Sarah says and then we can talk about it again.'

The fact that Dad has taken Noah's side makes me think. Meanwhile, Mum has been on the phone to my Aunt Sarah.

'Sarah says it's fine for Noah to come – he'll have to share a room with you and your cousin, though. I've put her in the picture about you and Noah – I hope that's OK.'

In all the flurry of arrangements, I'd forgotten that when we go to stay with my aunt I have to share with Christophe. I like him and we get on well, but quite how three of us is going to work I'm not sure – and it means there'll be no chance of having sex with Noah while we're there. If Noah comes.

'Yes of course, Mum, that's fine. '

In truth, I'm relieved she's told my aunt about me being gay; that's one potential embarrassment out of the way. I assume my aunt will tell Christophe – and how he'll feel about it I genuinely don't know. I've no reason to suppose he's remotely homophobic, but it's quite a big ask to share your room with a pair of gay boys who are lovers – even if one of them is your cousin.

It's the next day before Noah calls back.

'Hi Ollie. I've talked with my parents and they are very keen that I come; they think the chance to go skiing is a wonderful opportunity that I should take.'

My excitement is only held in check by my anxiousness to know the answer to the next bit.

'They also say it's fine for me to come for Christmas with you – if your aunt says it's OK. I was really surprised if I'm honest, Ollie. I think they must like you very much.'

'So…will you?'

'Will I what?'

'Come with us to France and then on to ski.'

'Has your aunt said it's OK to stay with her over Christmas?'

I realise that in my joy I've completely forgotten to fill in this part of the picture.

'Oh...oh yes, of course, sorry…no…I mean, yes…she says it's fine. But there's one thing you need to know.'

'What's that?'

'When we stay with Aunt Sarah, I have to share a room with my cousin Christophe. You'd have to share with both of us. He's a really nice guy, Noah, and I'm sure you'll like him, but are you OK with that?'

'I'm absolutely fine with it; but how does Christophe feel about it? Does he know we're gay and a couple?'

'I don't know; I think my aunt is probably telling him about now.'

'That won't be easy for him - or us.'

'I know, Noah…but I'd rather have you with me and - what was it your mother said - oh yes, 'exercise some self control' than be without you. And I expect we'll find an opportunity somehow, sometime.'

'I want to be with you too, Ollie.'


'Hmmm…is Christophe cute?'


He laughs.

'Only kidding. I'd love to come if Christophe is OK with us sharing with him – but I don't want him feeling awkward.'

'OK. Maybe I'll talk to him. And since you ask, I've always thought he was quite cute, yes.'

'OK, I'll wait to hear but I'll tell my parents it looks as though it's on.'

'Isn't it wonderful, Noah?'

'Yes, Ollie. It's amazing.'

I bring my parents up to date with developments.

'Coming with us in the car certainly simplifies the arrangements – and saves me some money,' says my father. If he comes down to us on the 22nd, we can get away early on the 23rd.'

'I'll let him know.'

I go and find my mother.

'Mum, I was thinking, maybe I should speak to Christophe…ask if he minds about sharing. I sort of think I owe it to him to tell him I'm gay - even if aunt Sarah has already said - and tell him a bit about Noah.'

'I think that would be a very kind and grown-up thing to do, Ollie. You two have always got on well, haven't you?'

'Yes. We like each other a lot. Should I call now?'

'If you want. Let me check with my sister to see what she's told Christophe already.'

My mother dials the number and I can hear one end of the conversation. It becomes clear that aunt Sarah has told Christophe, and that he's completely OK with me being gay. Apparently sharing a room doesn't faze him either. Mum hands me the phone.

'Well if it isn't my favourite nephew,' aunt Sarah says, 'I really appreciate you wanting to talk to Christophe and I'm sure he'll be pleased too. I understand from your mother that you only came out a few months ago and that Noah is already the love of your life.'

My aunt has never been one to beat about the bush.

'Yes…that's pretty much it.'

'Well good for you. Can't wait to meet him. And to see you again of course. Let me go and find Christophe.'

I hear her put the phone down and call Christophe's name. There's a bit of conversation I can't make out and then the phone is picked up.'


'Bonjour, Christophe, ca va?'

'Ca va tres bien, merci, et toi?'

'Moi aussi. On peut parler en Anglais?'

'Bien sur.'

My French is a bit better than basic, but not up to the conversation I want to have. Christophe speaks excellent English so, having performed the exchange of greetings, we revert to English.

'I'm looking forward to seeing you again – but I wanted to tell you myself that since we last met I've realised I'm gay.'

'Yes, Maman told me. That is no problem. You are still you. I like you. So nothing changes.'

'I also have a boyfriend, Noah.'

'Yes, I know this too. He is super sexy, yes?'

I can hear the smile in his voice. I know he's teasing me.

'I think so…but you'll be able to judge for yourself.'

'Yes…you are both coming for Noel, yes?'

'Yes…provided you don't mind us both sharing your room. I want to say that if you are at all uncomfortable about it, then we quite understand. I don't want things to be awkward between us.'

'Sharing c'est pas de probleme…it is no problem. We will put another small bed in my room. You two have my big bed, I will have the small one.'

'Are you sure, Christophe?'

'Of course. Just don't keep me awake with your sex, that is all. Or maybe I join in!'

He laughs and I laugh too.

'Well, if you're sure.'

'Of course. I love to meet him and to see my favourite cousin again. And thank you for speaking with me. It is good to hear your voice. I look forward to seeing you very soon. And Mr. Sexy as well.'

'Au revoir, Christophe.'

'Au 'voir Ollie.'

The line clicks dead. He's made me feel more than reassured; he's left me smiling. I really like my cousin Christophe.

I tell Mum how the call went and then phone Noah and tell him too. I arrange with him to come down on the train on the 22nd – and that I'll meet him at the station like before. In the meantime, I have some Christmas shopping to do. I need something nice for Noah – and something nice for Christophe too.

Noah arrives as planned on the 22nd. When we get home, he opens his case to take out the things he needs overnight. I look in the case and can't see much that's going to keep him warm when we go skiing. I have spare pairs of gloves and goggles and woolly hats, but he needs a proper pair of ski pants and a top. I outline the problem to my father, who gives me his card and tells me to go and get something.

'Are you sure, Dad? Those things aren't cheap.'

'It's less than I'd have spent on a flight. Just do it.'

Noah is uneasy about this, so my parents tell him to treat it as his Christmas present. He reluctantly accepts and we are soon in a local sports shop getting him suitably kitted out. He looks very fetching in the blue and yellow number that he eventually picks. He was going to choose something less colourful, but I told him that half the point was to wear something that could be seen if he were to get into difficulties. Boots we can hire once we're out there

Back at our house, I help Dad load up the car and we have an early supper, followed by an early night so that we're all ready for our 4 o'clock start the next morning. However, given that we don't know when we will next have the chance, Noah and I spend a good part of the night making love anyway. As a consequence, we are a bit groggy when the alarm goes off at 4. A quick shower and a hastily-grabbed bowl of cereal later, and we are on our way. Noah and I both fall asleep on the way to the ferry. We catch the 7.30 sailing and by mid-morning we are driving down to my aunt's house which is near Blois, on the Loire.

We arrive there in time for a late lunch. I give my aunt a hug and introduce Noah – who greets her in near-perfect French. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at anything Noah does anymore, but I had no idea. My uncle – who's French - is even more impressed.

'French is the second language of Senegal,' Noah explains later. 'My parents are both fluent'.

I wonder how many more surprises he has.

Christophe is waiting for us inside. It's been nearly a year since I last saw him – and he's gone from cute to very good-looking indeed. His curly hair has blond highlights that seem to pick up the golden flecks in his hazel eyes. His cheekbones and jaw have become more defined, and his skin with its Mediterranean, olive hue, seems to glow. His mouth – with perfect white teeth - breaks into a wide smile as he sees me.


He embraces me in a big hug, and kisses me three times in the traditional French way.

'Christophe…good to see you. And this is Noah.'

Christophe cocks his head to on side as if assessing him. His lips form a slight pout and he nods his head slowly up and down. He looks at me

'Oof! I was right. I knew you would have chosen someone super sexy!'

Noah smiles and holds out a hand. Christophe bats it out of the way and gives him the same big hug and kiss treatment he gave me.

'You are in France now, this is how we say hello. Now, come with me. We go to my room and you can unpack.'

As we walk, Noah and Christophe converse in French. I can follow some of it – but not all. But they end up laughing. I suspect that I am the source of their amusement. Christophe's room is much as I remember it – but with the addition of another bed that's been placed under the window. The double bed has the same hand-sewn cover over it that…brings back memories.

We were both fifteen and after Christmas lunch that year, Christo had taken a nearly full bottle of wine and we'd drunk it in his room. The worse for wear - and by then totally uninhibited - we'd got onto the subject of jacking off. He asked me if I'd done it with anyone else. I'd told him about my wank-buddy at school. He asked me to show him what we did - and we ended up bringing each other off spectacularly….all over the top of that hand-sewn cover. It only happened once, and we never discussed it again, but the memory of his long, curved cock is still firmly-lodged in my brain. I can't help but put out a hand and stroke the cover; Christophe sees it – and smiles, conspiratorially, at me.

Later that afternoon, Francine, Christophe's younger sister, gets back from shopping in Blois. I don't really know her that well, but she's nice enough. She falls for Noah at once – and I think she reminds Noah a bit of his sisters. At any rate, he is brilliant with her – and the fact that he speaks French only endears him more to my cousin.

Christophe, Noah and I spend the rest of the afternoon just chatting and making some gentle plans for the following day; Blois has a lovely Christmas market and we decide to head there after a lazy start. We'll get back in time to help my aunt with the preparation for Christmas Day itself. Traditionally, in France, the big meal is on Christmas Eve, but my aunt and uncle have always celebrated it the English way, on Christmas Day.

My aunt has prepared a wonderful evening meal; soup, pan-fried chicken with a mushroom sauce, cheese, and then a crème brulee. My uncle has opened several bottles of wine, and the meal goes on for some time. We are all very relaxed.

Noah and I are exhausted having slept so little the previous night, and we ask if anyone would mind if we head off to bed. Tactfully, Christophe gives us about thirty minutes before he joins us in his bedroom. Noah is already asleep, and I just murmur a sleepy 'good night' to Christophe.

'Sleep well, Ollie. And I like Noah very much.'

I am vaguely aware off him taking his clothes off, but I'm asleep before he climbs under the covers into his bed.

When we wake up, Christophe is not in his bed. But he appears at the door a few minutes later carrying two mugs.

'Ah, bonjour!...I have brought you coffee.'

'Thanks, Christophe. What time is it?'

'About 9.30. I think you were very tired. But there is no rush. There is breakfast downstairs when you are ready and then we can go into Blois, if you would like. The Christmas decorations are impressive as well as the market – and we can do any last minute shopping if you want. But take your time.'

And that's what we do. We shower, dress and then go downstairs and munch a croissant. It is nearly 11 by the time Christophe drives us into Blois. It is a pretty town with a castle that Christo says we should come back and see another day. The decorations are impressive, and there are a variety of interesting shops. The market is delight - and I buy Noah a very French black beret which he immediately puts on. It suits him perfectly.

'Vraiment Francais,' says Christophe.

We find a corner café where we have lunch. We all opt for a galette - a simple buckwheat pancake -which is filled with one of about a dozen different options from the menu. Mine has potato, chicken, and cheese, while Noah and Christophe both go for the mushroom, chees and ham option. We share a pichet of local red wine, and finish off with coffee.

Afterwards, Christophe drives us about five kilometres to a local chateau, where we walk off lunch taking a leisurely stroll along woodland paths that wind through the grounds, and end up in front of an impressive fountain. It is a chance for us to talk and catch up , and Christophe ends up with one of us on either side of him, his hands around our shoulders. It is as if we have all known each other for ages.

As the light fades, Christophe drives us back home. Once there, the three of us relax and listen to music in Christophe's room until it is time for dinner. This turns out to be a whole salmon that Aunt Sarah has baked with lemon, fennel and white wine. This is followed with cheese and then a chocolate mousse. And several bottles of excellent wine.

Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve is something of a tradition when we stay in France, and although there is no pressure on us boys to go, we all decide it's part of the whole experience. The Catholic church is only a short walk away – just as well given the amount we've had to drink – and, completely lit by candles, it is quietly awe-inspiring. The combination of the lovely choir, the incense, and the fact that some of the service is conducted in Latin all makes it a very special. I may not be sure if God exists – but I like his style.

Back home, we put our shoes in front of the fire for Pere Noel to fill, and then go to bed.

In his room, as he strips off, Christophe says he hopes we're both OK with the fact that he sleeps naked. We tell him that we do too - and we are soon all three buck naked in front of each other. The rest of Christophe has developed as much as his looks, and we unashamedly look, check and compare. As we get under the duvets, Christophe says,

'Please…if you want to do sex…that's fine. Do not worry about me, I will not be embarrassed.'

'Thanks…we'll try to keep our hands off each other,' I say.

'Why? Sex is normal. If I had a boyfriend like Noah, I would not be keeping my hands off him.'

He smiles, turns the light out, and then turns, tactfully, onto his side facing away from us.

As we snuggle up together, Noah whispers to me,

'Well…you heard what he said...what about it?'

'I don't think we should…'

But the words die in my mouth as Noah slips his hand between my legs and takes hold of me. He turns me on my side and I can feel the head of his erection pushing against my entrance. He pushes inside me, and I can't help but gasp.

'Happy Christmas, Ollie,' he whispers.

In the dim moonlight that filters through the curtains, I'm aware that Christophe has turned to face us. As Noah slides gently in and out of me, I can see Christophe's duvet moving as he masturbates while watching us.

I wake up to pale sunlight and roll over onto my back. Noah is still asleep, but I see Christophe stir and throw the duvet off. He gets up and heads to the small bathroom attached to one side of the bedroom.

'I have to piss', he says with a smile.

He is entirely unashamed of the fact that he is erect. His cock sways from side to side as he walks across in front of me. He runs a hand over it and smiles at me. It is every bit as beautiful and impressive as I remember. I hear the sound of him peeing, then the flush, and as he walks back, now only half-hard, he comes over to me and gives me a kiss.

'Happy Christmas, Ollie.'

'Happy Christmas, Christophe.'

Noah stirs and opens an eye. Christophe goes round the bed and gives him a kiss as well.

'Joyeux Noel, Noah.'

'Et a toi, Christophe.'

Still naked, Christophe goes over to the cupboard and takes out two packages.

'I have a small present for each of you,' he says.

'And we do for you too, I say' getting out of bed and going over to our cases. I take out the presents I've bought for Noah and Christophe. The two of us are now standing naked in the middle of the room.

'You must be cold,' says Noah, 'come on, the pair of you – there's room for all of us in here.'

He moves over to the side of the bed and Christophe gets in beside him. I sit on Christophe's other side. There is just about enough room for us all, but Christophe's thigh is pressing against mine on one side and, I assume, against Noah's on the other. It is mildly erotic.

'Well, this is very nice,' says Christophe.

We exchange gifts.

Christophe has given each of us a hand-thrown mug. They are exquisitely made with a bluey-green metallic glaze finish. Very discreetly, there is a pattern of 'N's round the bottom rim of Noah's and of 'O's around the bottom of mine. They almost glow with reflected light.

'These are beautiful, Christophe,' I say.

'They are locally made by a friend of mine. I hope you like them.'

'They're gorgeous,' says Noah.

We both plant a kiss on Christophe's cheeks, and he flushes with pleasure.

I've bought Noah a wristband a bit like the one I gave his sister for her birthday. But this is made of gold and copper. It was expensive and used up a good chunk of the money I'd earned in my gap year, but it's beautiful and he deserves it.

'Oh my God, Ollie…this is just…' he is turning the bracelet this way and that. As it catches the sunlight it glitters and flashes. I can see he has tears in his eyes.

'Thank you, Ollie…thank you so much. It's perfect.'

Noah hands it to Christophe to look at.

'May I?' asks, Christophe.

Noah nods and Christophe puts it round his wrist and fastens the clip. It looks lovely on him. He admires it before taking it off and handing it back to Noah.

'Tres, tres chic, Ollie.'

Noah puts it on. It looked good on Christophe, but on Noah it's spectacular. Set against the colour of his skin it almost glows. Noah leans across Christophe and kisses me.

I have bought something similar for Christophe – but his is in silver, copper and leather. He is, nonetheless, delighted.

'Oh wow, Ollie! Thank you so much…but this is perfect. You know I love this sort of thing.'

And it's true, I do. He is always wearing two or three bands on his wrists so I hoped this would be a suitable addition. I'm delighted that it clearly is. He gives me a kiss.

'Well,' says Noah, I guess that just leaves me. He gets out of bed and goes over to his bag. He's naked except for the gold and copper bracelet round one wrist. Christophe can't take his eyes off him – and neither can I.

He comes back with two beautifully-wrapped presents.

'You first, Ollie,' says Christophe.

Noah's bought me a ring. It's three twisted strands of metal; two of silver with a gold one in the middle. It is simple and elegant. I love it.

'The two silver strands are you and me, Ollie, and the gold one is the love that binds us together.'

'That is beautiful, Noah,' says Christophe.

'Yes, Noah, it is.'

It's my turn to lean across Christophe to kiss Noah. And as I do so, Christophe puts his arms round both our shoulders.

'You are such a lovely couple. I love you both.'

'Your turn, Christophe.'

His present is a little bigger than mine, and when he unwraps it, inside is the most beautifully carved pair of horns with the suggestion of a forehead between them. It's carved in wood.

'It's Senegalese local art,' says Noah, 'it's carved from rosewood and represents a gazelle.'

It is simply stunning. So simple yet so effective Christophe is lost for words. He just sits there turning it over and over in his hands.

'Noah…this is…beautiful…exquisite…thank you so much.'

He throws his arms round Noah and hugs him.

We sit there for a moment amongst the debris of paper and ribbons, then Christophe says,

'OK…time to go and see what Pere Noel has brought us. But not naked, I think.'

Rather than wait for me to get out of bed, he clambers across me, his cock only inches from my face as he does so and pulls on a shirt and a pair of trousers.

'We can shower later.'

Noah and I follow suit and make our way down stairs. In the lounge, Francine and Christophe's mother are already there.

'Bonjour Christophe – and happy Christmas to all of you.'

In front of the fire - which has been relit – the shoes we left have been filled. The gifts are small and mostly edible; chocolates, nougat, candied fruit, coffee – and also a ten Euro note. I'm touched that Aunt Sarah has done this for Noah as well. Christophe can't wait to show off the presents we gave him, and his mother is as impressed as he was with Noah's carved piece of art.

Breakfast is on the table in the kitchen; freshly-baked baguettes, croissants and pains au chocolat served with jams made from the fruit that grows in their garden – cherry, apricot and peach. My uncle and my parents appear as we are already well into the process of eating. We all say 'happy Christmas' to each other and jobs are allocated in the preparation for lunch. We three boys excuse ourselves and go back upstairs to take a shower and get dressed properly. Noah showers first. While he is in the shower, Christophe comes over to me.

'I hope you don't mind that I watched while you made love last night. It was very beautiful…and sexy.'

'Yes…I noticed you were taking…appropriate measures.'

He smiles. 'And how could I not? Watching two beautiful boys have sex is very…arousing.'

'You were still pretty aroused this morning from the look of it.'

'I think we all have...what is it you say…morning wood? And I am not ashamed of it…and anyway…you have seen it before.'

'Yes…I remember.'

'Tell me, Ollie – if it is OK to ask – what is it like to have another man inside you?'

'If it's a man you love, it's wonderful, Christophe.'

'It does not hurt?'

'No…not any more.'

'You seemed to enjoy it, bien sur. And you do the same to Noah?'


'I think I would like to know what it feels like.'

'But you're not gay, Christo, are you?'

'No…but I am bissexuel I is the same word in English, yes? Bisexual?'

'Yes…same word. Really?'

'I think so. I have had a girlfriend, but I also find some boys attractive. I find you attractive, Ollie – and Noah too. It is OK…I am not asking to do it with you or him – though I would not say no – but I am curious. Maybe I like it, maybe I don't…but how do you know unless you try? I like to try things.'

'Well, if I wasn't with Noah, I'd certainly be happy to try it with you.'

'See, no wonder you are my favourite cousin.'

He comes over and hugs me and kisses me. And we hold on to one another afterwards in a lingering embrace. It is nothing sexual - but it is more than a cousinly hug too. Noah comes out of the shower, towel wrapped round his waist. He looks good enough to eat, and Christophe just turns to me and raises his eyebrows. I smile, and Christophe takes Noah's place in the bathroom. While he's in there, I tell Noah what Christophe has said to me.

'You think he really would like to have sex with one of us?'

'Both of us probably – given the chance.'

Noah pauses. 'And how would you feel about that?'

'Are you serious, Noah?'

'I don't know, Ollie. If you'd asked me before we came here, before we met him, I'd have laughed at the idea. But…I like him, Ollie. He is open and honest and fun – all the things I like about you too. I think for him it would genuinely just be an experiment to see if he liked it. Would you feel it threatened our relationship?'

I think about this.

'No…for what it's worth I agree with you that he is just a genuinely curious boy who wants to try something he hasn't tried to see if he likes it. I don't think there's any 'love' involved…I mean, he loves both of us but not in a 'I want a relationship with you' way.'

'You like him, don't you, Ollie?'

'Yes…I do. We've always got on. He calls me his favourite cousin – and he's certainly mine'.

'Have you ever fooled about with him?'

I blush. And pause. Which tells Noah everything. He raises an eyebrow – and so I tell him about our wine-fuelled mutual masturbation.

'So in a sense you wouldn't be creating a new aspect to your relationship with your cousin.'

'I think a drunken jack off is a bit different from fucking him alongside my boyfriend.'

'Maybe…but it's not like you're opening up the whole sex box from scratch. It would be more like another toy out of the same box.'

'You saying we should offer to show him what it's like?'

'Only if it wouldn't alter the way we feel about each other, Ollie. Look…I don't have to be part of it. You're the one with whom he's already opened the box. I'd be happy just to watch. If you were to fuck him, I promise it wouldn't change the way I feel about you. Not now. Not now I know him. Not now that I know you've sort of already been there. I can see if I did it, it might change things for you. And that's fine.'

'And what if he wants to fuck me in return?'

'That would be more difficult. But we could ask if he was happy for it to be just one way. After all, he was the one who said he wanted to know what it felt like to have another man inside him. He said nothing about the other way round.'

'Can I think about it?'

'Of course, Ollie. And we do whatever you think is right.'

At this point Christophe comes out of the shower. 'OK, Ollie…all yours.'

I go into the bathroom and shut the door behind me, before stepping into the generously sized shower cubicle. The water is hot and plentiful, and there is a nice-smelling citrussy shower get in a pump on a rack. I soap myself all over – including my hair – and watch as the foam swirls down off my body and down the drain in the centre of the floor. I am trying to work out how I feel about what Noah has said. Would it be OK to satisfy Christophe's curiosity? Would it affect the way I feel about Noah – or, more importantly, the way he feels about me? I know what he said but…and I would die if anything changed between us. It doesn't help that Christophe is so sexy - and he is. My teenage hormones are voting to be allowed free rein, but my brain is trying to corral them. Would it be a one-off that we felt perfectly happy about and forgot once done, or would it be a one-off that changed everything? I sigh, then turn off the shower and dry myself quickly, before wrapping the towelround my waist and going back into the bedroom.

Noah and Christophe have clearly been talking. And you don't have to be a mind-reader to work out about what. They look at each other. Noah speaks.

'Ollie…we've been talking…about…what we talked about. IF…and only IF…you were OK with the whole idea, then Christophe has said that it would be strictly a one-way event. Just for him to see what it was like. And it would be fine for it to be just you…and for me to be there while it happened. An experiment to satisfy his curiosity – nothing more.'

'But only if you want to, Ollie,' adds Christophe.

He can see me thinking.

'I'm so sorry, Ollie, I wish I had never raised it. Please let us forget it.'

'No…no Christo. If it is experiment, then let's discuss it. I mean, the last thing I'd want is for you to experiment with someone who maybe saw things differently and took advantage of you – or worse.. Do you really want me to, Christophe? Really?'

'But of course. I want to know what it is like. You know I like you, but more…I trust you. It would be…a gift to me. And if Noah is truly OK with this then…' He gives a very Gallic shrug.

'OK. Maybe. Look…can we just have Christmas day and talk about this again later?'

'Sure, Ollie.'

So that's how it gets left.

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